Tartu

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Decaying Sound: Half Dub Theory, She Bit Her Lip, Lumberjack, and ANH
Various professional challenges emerge in these Russian recordings; most of them have connections to outside, social realia. It's only beyond the border––in Estonia––that civic pressures ease.
Argo Vals: Oxymoron (Tartu, Estonia FFM5)
Argo Vals is an Estonian multi-instrumentalist and composer. His career can be traced back to 2006, when initial, DIY tracks morphed slowly into several Baltic ensembles. A reputation started to grow.
Islands and Kingdoms: Ex-Patriots, Ritmika, 5Loops, and Cheese People
Four recordings from Russian and Estonian bands consider the relationship of language to their location. Does it matter whether one sings in a native tongue? If not, then why choose English?
A Little Estonian Finesse: Vonkuusk, IHM Trio, Kali Briis, and Vul Vulpes
New instrumentals from several Estonian towns display an intriguing validation of smallness. Given the gross conservatism of mainstream enterprise, minimalism and understatement have a special charm.
Everyday Psychedelia: Cats Park, MBMK, Miki Irie, and Candy Empire
Four recordings from Tartu, St. Petersburg, and Moscow promote the traditions of psychedelia, either through the heritage of Bowie and early Roxy Music, or by way of trip-hop. Not everybody is convinced, though...
Pondering the Past: Galvanic Elephants, Schweinemaschinen, and Scofferlane
With their new releases, three young bands from Estonia and the Russian capital evoke the sound of a UK postpunk heritage - in various ways. Twenty years after the fact, however, what relevance can that tradition have for another time and place?
A Stargazing Lyricism: Animal Drama, Big Echo, and Show Me a Dinosaur
New recordings from Tartu, Saint Petersburg, and Samara adopt a minor lyrical scale. And yet, for all the obstacles of that miniaturism, we're left with the impression that romance actually benefits as a result. Big, bad actuality is kept at a distance.
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